WCQ: Why Harambee Stars’ Firat is worried of Burundi

Friday, June 7th, 2024 08:35 | By
Firat promises changes to Harambee Stars’ starting XI against Seychelles tonight
Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat addressing the press. PHOTO/Harambee Stars(@Harambee__Stars)/X

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has pointed out what strengths Burundi possess ahead of a 2026 World Cup qualifier set to be played at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Friday, June 7, 2024.

Kenya will face the Swallows for the third qualifier in the group and hope to make it back-to-back victories; however, Firat is concerned.

“We are facing a rival that has a very strong transition game; they play very fast from deep, and they have a lot of fast players.

"Therefore, I feel they will use the space they can get if we press them and try and get long balls behind our defence but we are prepared for it,” Firat told the press ahead of the Friday evening duel.

The former Moldova national head coach said he is, however, confident that the team will deliver.

“I never give up, and the boys also do not give up. Our focus is on the boys we have here to try our best to get the three points,” he added.

Harambee Stars training at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Harambee Stars training at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi. PHOTO/@Harambee__Stars/X

Firat's comment comes after his captain, Michael Olunga, also warned that it is not going to be an easy game.

"It won't be an easy game. If you look at Burundi's previous matches, they lost 3-2 and won 2-1, showing they are a strong team with good players. However, we are hopeful that we will play well, and each player will give their best to achieve good results," Olunga said in a presser.

Harambee Stars full squad

Goalkeepers: Ian Otieno, Byrne Omondi, Patrick Matasi

Defenders: Johnstone Omurwa, Collins Sichenje, Zak Vyner, Alphonce Omija, Abud Omar, Daniel Anyembe, Tobias Knost, Baron Ochieng

Midfielders: John Ochieng, Anthony Akumu, Richard Odada, Chrispine Erambo, Timothy Ouma, Duke Abuya, Kenneth Muguna, Austin Odhiambo, Ronney Onyango, Clifton Miheso

Forwards: John Avire, Benson Omalla, Michael Olunga

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